Germany Travel Guide
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With security lines, crowds, and other less than awesome features—an airport isn’t necessarily the best place to welcome the holiday season. Some airports are looking to change this, however, and one in particular has embraced the holiday spirit in grand style. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is the must-visit airport for December, as they've installed a full-on Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market.
FRA is boasting decorations, trees, lights, and all of the usual holiday trimmings as they do their best to bring a traditional German holiday market atmosphere right to the terminals. The over 300 shops and restaurants at the airport are in the holiday spirit with Christmas specials and other deals and, on Christmas Eve, many of the stores will even stay open later than usual—just in case you need one more thing for that special someone.
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Don Henley discovered that we've all been poisoned by fairy tales, but does he know who is to blame for it? We do...the Germans!
It was two academics from Deutschland, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, collectively known as the "Brothers Grimm," who are responsible for sending us all down the rabbit hole on a foolish mission to fulfill our unrealistic expectations of life.
The two brothers began aggregating and modifying folk tales from different mythologies in the early 1800s. In total, they published over 200 stories in a series of books, including the now well-known classic tales of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Snow White. You may recognize a few of those titles!
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Prost! The 180th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany has already begun, but you're not too late to get in on the fun. Running from September 21st through October 6th, the celebration of beer and the autumn harvest returns with its 14 Big Tents, an amusement park, and all the sausages under heat lamps you can handle.
Naturally the focus is again on beer, but we're here to say that, yes, we've been to Oktoberfest before and, yes, there's more than just heading for the hops. It's definitely too late to make a table reservation in a major beer tent, but drinking other beverages can still yield you a seat.
Here's four other liquids to guzzle during Oktoberfest 2013:
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We've said it before and we'll say it again: Oktoberfest season is one of the best seasons! There are so many reasons, least among them all the special beers and the crispness of fall in the air. On the travel end, it means Lufthansa flight crew dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes.
2013 is the eighth consecutive year for the team of 14 known as the Lufthansa "Trachten Crew," but you'll only find them passing out pretzels and greeting you with a hearty "Grüß Gott" on specific flights into and out of Munich.
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Yay! It's that time of the year when we get to talk about Oktoberfest. The barrels will be tapped and the pretzels baked starting tomorrow, Saturday, September 21. Just as last year, we're going to lay some wisdom on ya as seasoned female revelers at Munich's massive party. Heed these, our six things for female travelers to know about Oktoberfest:
1. Beer is not the only authentic drink! In fact, we'd argue there are three other beverages it's "authentic" to drink at Oktoberfest, all of which work out well for those who don't particularly enjoy chugging beer: champagne, schnapps and Radler. Look beyond the ginormous beer tents to the Weinzelt tent, a smaller tent that specializes in Nymphenburger Sektsekt being German champagne. Even smaller and dotted around the Theresienwiese are schnapps booths, where a few Euro goes a long way (towards getting drunkers).
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a little bit of a thing for airplanes. Even those that are no longer flying up in the sky are pretty darn awesome, and that’s especially the case for those which once cruised at supersonic speeds. Of course we know a bunch of spots to find Concorde, but if we’re not mistaken, there’s only one spot to check out Concorde and her supersonic sibling.
The Tupolev Tu-144 and Concorde both did the super fast thing in decades past, but now they’re taking life a little slower—as in not moving at all—on static display at an aviation museum. You'll find the pair at the Auto and Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, also home to a variety of other historical transportation exhibits.
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Last December we did a post about Berlin's Brandenburg Airport, headlined "Berlin's giant new airport will open (maybe possibly hopefully)." In that post we outlined the history of woes that the airport has suffered, going back to the October 2011 date when its doors were originally supposed to open. Then, last July we gave you another update, expressing our hope that "someday, somehow" the airport would debut.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Germany's English-language The Local published details of a report describingand this is not a typomore than 66,000 problems still requiring attention. The story began with the line, "Berlin's new international airport took another step towards never being finished on Tuesday..." and then kind of went downhill from there. Oof.
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The line-up for this year's New Fall Festival in Dusseldorf, Germany has been announced and includes everything from classical to singer/songwriters to electro and indie music.
The fest, taking place October 31 – November 3, 2013, prides itself on being truly eclectic, from the performances to the venues. This year's events will take place at the planetarium-turned-concert hall Tonhalle, home to Düsseldorf’s symphonic orchestra and the Robert-Schumann-Hall, an established classical music venue, among other unlikely locations.
The city of Frankfurt boasts the largest skyline in Europe (shown above in all its modesty), but that's not why it stands out amongst the crowd. No, this Germany city has an even bigger secret: It doesn't drink beer.
We know what you're thinking. A German city that doesn't drink beer? Blasphemy! But no, seriously, it's true. In Frankfurt, it's apfelwein (apple wine) that fills the glasses of the locals.
Apfelwein is made in the same way as wine -- by pressing apples and adding yeast -- but it tastes more like a cider and it drinks like a beer with an alcohol content of 4 to 7 percent. It is served to patrons in what's called a bembel (that blue and white pitcher in the photo below) and drank from a special glass called a geripptes, which has ridges cut into it to prevent it from slipping out of your hand (back in the day, the Germans ate pork and sausage with their hands while they drank, which made them greasy).
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Last night, while on a late run to the nearby 24-hour drugstore, we peeked in to the beer fridge and realizedholy smokesthat they're already stocking both pumpkin and Oktoberfest brews. You know what this means, right? Besides the fact that beer fans have a very limited time left to enjoy the summer varieties and shandies, it means travelers need to finalized Oktoberfest plans ASAP.
What to do:
· Book a flight/train
· Book a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb (yes, even the hostels fill up in advance, as we sadly discovered one year)
· Book a table in a beer tent (there's no bar and you need to be sitting at a table to get served)
· Pack shoes you don't mind throwing away at the end of everything, since the Wies'n often gets muddy and beer spilling during cheers is a part of the fun.
Hopefully you've checked off each item, but if the table reservations are proving particularly difficult there is a way to get around it provided you have some nerve.
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It's officialLufthansa gets it. By it, we mean Instagram, as they've just completed a brilliant photo series named #pilotdiary which goes above and beyond (and into the cockpit) to share the Lufthansa experience, but through the eyes of an international commercial airline pilot.
To be specific, the 39 photosposted from July 29 through August 2chronicle the early mornings and long flights of Philipp, a Senior First Officer on Lufthansa's 747s. Jetting back and forth between Frankfurt and Los Angeles at the yoke of a new 747-8i, he snaps anything and everythingfrom a lunch over Greenland to a generic layover hotel room, and even a brief beach breakto essentially provide a full picture of life in the skies.
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One of the things we consistently do in every destination is try to find a high peak and gain perspective, whether it’s at the top of a tall building or at the summit of a hill on a hike. There's a significant amount of insight and appreciation one can gain by getting a bird's eye view. Plus, it just feels really epic to rise above it all; you're a king looking out over his kingdom, if you will.
Now, we can all picture this going over really well on a bright, sunny day with a warm breeze at our backs. But what if we told you that you could have this same experience inside? It would seem impossible, unless you stumble upon a panometer created by Vienna-born painter Yadegar Asisi. Never heard of him? That's all right, neither had we before a recent visit to his exhibit in Dresden, Germany.